Boler Mountain says it has cancelled all season passes and group lessons for the 2021 ski season because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The London, Ont., ski hill sent an email to its season pass holders Monday, telling anyone who purchased group lessons or a season ticket this year will be issued a full refund.
“This decision did not come lightly. We looked at the available days of operation and with the uncertainty that March weather brings we felt that the luxuries for the season pass will not be met by Boler,” the email said.
When Ontario declared a 28-day stay-at-home order on Boxing Day, the new regulations included shutting down certain outdoor activities such as downhill skiing, on top of restrictions on businesses and gatherings. However, parks, skating rinks and cross-country ski and snowshoe trails across Ontario remain open.
The industry has complained that the restrictions have been devastating, costing them collectively upwards of $90 million, according to media reports.
On Monday, Boler Mountain indicated that it too has felt financial pressure this year due to a combination of added costs and government restrictions during the ongoing pandemic.
“As you can imagine this season is a significant negative impact on our finances. We invested substantially into extra COVID precautions as well as our production snowmaking to prepare to open as it was listed in the Government of Ontario reopening regulation that skiing would be allowed in a lockdown,” the email from Boler Mountain said.
In order to receive the refund, customers are asked to fill out an online form. Boler Mountain said Monday that while it plans to refund the affected customers as soon as possible, it may take some time.
“We ask for your patience as refunds will take some time to process. We are currently operating with minimal staff as we have had to reduce staffing levels in these challenging times and we are honouring the stay at home measures, helping to be part of the solution to return to skiing.”
Boler said it hoped that the 2021 season would not be a complete wash, and that it plans to start operating as soon as authorities declare it is safe to do so.